Titan Jewellery Theo Paphitis #SBS Winner

Titan Jewellery Winner of the Theo Paphitis #SBS 22nd September 2013

#SBS Winner

#SBS Winner

Theo Paphitis (Dragons Den) runs a weekly Twitter incentive for small business’ called Small Business Sunday, shortened to SBS.

Each week small business’ are invited to tweet Theo (@TheoPaphitis) using the hash tag #SBS describing their own business in 140 characters or less. Theo then picks his favourite 6,  each a rewarded with a retweet to his 390,000 twitter followers, and a listing on the website www.theopaphitissbs.comAfter tweeting Theo about the uniqueness of our jewellery, on 22nd September 2013 we were rewarded with being one of the six winners for that week.

Theo Paphitis #SBS Winners 22nd September 2013

Theo Paphitis #SBS Winners 22nd September 2013

The six winners of #SBS for 22nd September 2013 were

Titan Jewellery           @TitanJewellery

One Stop Bug Shop     @OneStop_BugShop

Bike Tuna                     @Biketuna_co_uk

Blackberry Cottage     @Blackberry_Cott

Alter Rock Derby         @AlterRock_Derby

Bluebird Tea                 @Bluebirdteaco

And of course without Theo Paphitis none of this would happen.

Theo Paphitis Twitter  @TheoPaphitis

 

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Article about Helen Beer, director of Titan Jewellery

Original Article

 

After commuting from Chatham, Kent for over 12 years to a full-time accountancy role in London, Helen Beer had her son, Callum, in 2001 when she was 29. Then, over the next few years she found it impossible to fit her demanding job around her son’s timetable, so in 2003 Helen decided to take the plunge and become a mumpreneur. She now makes over twice as much as she took home from her London job, plus there are all the benefits of a better work/family balance.

Helen Beer of Quality Silver.co.uk

Helen Beer of Quality Silver.co.uk

How it all started

Husband Jason has been a goldsmith and jeweller since he left school and this gave Helen the inspiration to focus on selling high-end silver, titanium, tungsten and zirconia ceramic jewellery in her own online store, QualitySilver.

To get going, the business was funded using Helen and her husband’s savings and has grown by re-investing profit: “We have never borrowed in respect of the business, nor have we had any investors. It cost us less than £500 to set up and the existing relationships Jason had with suppliers made it easier to get credit to stock the site. This venture has certainly paid off for us and being web-only has made all the difference as the overheads are so much lower than having a physical shop.”

Next steps

Since the launch in March 2003, the business has grown rapidly. The first expansion decision came when Helen realised the value of niche sites in search marketing terms, so she created QualityTitanium in March 2005, just selling jewellery made with this lightweight metal. The next step came in 2010 when profits from the websites enabled Helen to buy a 50% stake in a shop, The Jewellery Workshop, Maidstone. Then, in September 2012 she launched Titan Jewellery, focusing on a range of rings for men and women that are available in all sizes up to Z+10.

Since year one, the online business has grown 500% and now has a healthy six-figure turnover. “The business gives me a profit that is more than double my previous London income, so the hard work and risk has been well worthwhile.”

What made it all possible

Helen acknowledges that all her success couldn’t have happened without technology. She has always used ecommerce software from SellerDeck (formerly Actinic Software), choosing it because, “we didn’t want to use a cloud-based system; we wanted to have complete control of whole website and back-up ourselves, without relying on anyone else.”

She and Jason were able to design all the websites themselves using the templates provided. Helen says, “It was really quick and simple to put the pages together and the software also makes it easy to update the site with new ranges, best sellers and offers.”

As with all businesses, the marketing is a priority and for QualitySilver it revolves around SEO keyword management, pay-per-click and customer reviews. Helen explains, “Word of mouth is our biggest source of new visitors and the review system we’ve subscribed to for the Titan Jewellery site is worth its weight in gold. In addition, about 10% of our trade is from returning customers, so we do very little advertising.”

Today at 41, Helen reflects on her decision: “Ecommerce works for me – it makes it possible to earn a living on my own terms that isn’t possible via paid employment. Not only is it a cost-effective business model, but it also allows me to be at home with my child after school and in the holidays. On a normal day I work during school hours, but then may work again between six and ten in the evening. The stop-start routine can make it feel like I work longer hours, but it’s not true in fact.

 

 

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Anodising Titanium Rings

With the large range of titanium rings that we currently sell on the website we do receive many special requests for modifications to our current titanium rings. The most common request is for anodised titanium rings to add a colour to the the ring.

Anodising titanium requires a DC voltage to be run through the titanium ring in order to create an oxide layer to make the titanium appear to have a colour. As we professionally rhodium plate white gold on a daily basis in our Maidstone workshop we did not feel that this would be difficult to accomplish.

Anodising Titanium Equipment

Anodising Titanium Equipment

Equipment needed for Anodising Titanium

The main equipment needed for anodising titanium is a regulated DC power supply capable of 120V, the power supply above was purchased from Ebay for £120 which is very reasonable. We also had to purchase a sheet of titanium to act as the anode, and titanium wire , seen in the picture to hold the titanium ring on when anodising.

The liquid we used for this experiment was De-stilled water with TSP, a cleaning product which was also purchased from Ebay, although we are also experimenting with other chemicals to see which creates the most vivid anodised titanium colours. The slow cooker is used just to maintain a temperature  for the liquid, again we are also experimenting with temperature ranges to try and achieve the most vivid colours.

In addition to the above, we did also electrically clean the titanium rings in the same chemical cleaner we use for rhodium plating, sodium hydroxide to degrease the titanium rings.

Anodised Titanium Colours

Anodised Titanium Colours

Anodised Titanium Colours

The chart above shows the colours we would hope to achieve with the shown DC voltage. The colours produced up to 20 volts were not too dissimilar to natural titanium, only looking dirty so we have not included them on the chart.

The Results – Anodised Titanium Rings

Anodised Titanium Rings

Anodised Titanium Rings

We took a handful of titanium rings to practice on. Don’t worry if you see any imperfections or faults with the titanium rings as these were a bunch of scrap rings we had laying around the workshop. For instance the titanium rings set with diamonds, or the ruby were from when we were refining our setting service that we advertise on our Quality Titanium website, Titanium Ring Setting Service, at the bottom of the page.

We were happy with the shades that we could produce in the blues and yellow but the orange, pinks and purple came out a little patchy and will require more practice, but overall we are very impressed with our first attempt at trying to produce anodised titanium rings.

What will we do in the future

We will continue to practice, and refine the process until we find a way of successfully anodising titanium rings to a uniform, repeatable colour every time. We do hope to have a selection of anodised titanium rings available to purchase on the website, and to be able to offer such customisations as recessed lathed lines, and patterns that have then been anodised and finished with a polished, or brushed finish.

Watch this space!

T.LR817

 

 

 

 

 

Note : the images above of the equipment, and anodised titanium were taken on an iphone so the images are not perfect.

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